One thing the state of Washington does not have is a Secretary of State Office. I never thought I'd see the day that I would miss these one-stop-shopping places.
It took us over six hours to renew our licenses and get new license plates for our vehicle.
Let me take you on our Friday trip.
We had received our van as a gift from my parents and on the title it said we paid $1 for it. Little did we know that this would be a huge problem.
We went to one place over a week ago to get our license plates changed. I wouldn't even call it an "office". The guy and his dog greeted us from behind the counter and informed us that we had to have the "gift-ers" fill out a piece of paper that said the van was gifted to us. Thank goodness for technology as the gift-ers are over 2000 miles away. One scan, one e-mail and in less than one minute it was sitting at their house. Two days later we received it back from them in the mail.
So Friday was our day to change our legal stuff over to be residents of the state of WA.
We went to the licensing place first. You can only get your license here. Nothing else. We had to wait through about 20 people. Both Ed and I were afraid we were going to miss our turn. You see, there were three sets of numbers going and an automated voice would call out which counter was helping which set of numbers. And it would go quick, so we had to be on our toes. We finally get up to the counter and were told that we needed proof of residency and that our car insurance slip would not constitute as a legal form of residency. Of course, that's all we had with us, as in MI, that's all you needed. So we decided to stop and get our plates and then run home to get proof of residency and then head back there.
So off we went to get our plates and found out that we needed to have proof that tax was paid on the van by the sellers before she would issue the plates. Ed had that in the van, so that wasn't a huge problem, but then she said that we also needed an emissions test on the van before she could give us anything.
So off we went to find the emissions place. By now, three hours had gone by and we didn't have a single thing. Thankfully though, we had what they requested and got the check done and paperwork signed so we could get the plates.
A stop for lunch (and gas) and back to the license plate office (of which you could also buy a cell phone in the same room, but we passed on that). Ed waited in line another 1/2 hour, showed all the paperwork and then was asked to see his Washington drivers license. Of course, we didn't have those yet, but the guy was nice enough to let it slide and we got plates. Yay for plates!
A quick drive back home to gather the right documents for the licensing place, off to get Sam from school and then to get our licenses. Who knew that the population in that office would quadruple when we walked in. There was not a seat to be seen, so we sat on the floor and had to wait through 50 people (that were in the same number sequence as us) plus those who were a part of a different group of numbers. We finally had paper licenses in hand and could now say we are residents of the state of WA.
We got back home and realized we completely forgot to register to vote. I think that we just might have to go to a different office for that.
And when all is said and done and we move from this lovely state, I think I will have one of these made out of my license plate. Just as a memento.